Princess Pema Sal

Princess Pema Sal (Princess “Radiant Lotus”) was the daughter of the Tibetan King Trisong Detsen and and Queen Droza Changchub, to whom Guru Rinpoche entrusted his own lineage of the Great Perfection known as Khandro Nyingtik (“The Heart Essence of the Dakinis”) in the 8th century.

She died unexpectedly at the age of only eight. The king was distraught with grief. When he asked why someone with the great merit to be both a princess and a disciple of the Lotus-Born master had to die while still a child, Guru Rinpoche told the story of how she had been a bee who stung one of the four brothers during the completion of the Great Stupa of Boudhanath.

In order to console him, Guru Rinpoche drew a syllable NRI over the little princess’s heart, caught her consciousness with the hook of his samadhi, and brought her back to life. As soon as she opened her eyes and could speak again, he gave her the whole cycle of the Khandro Nyingtik by means of the power he had to transfer blessings directly. He empowered Princess Pema Sel to reveal this teaching in a future life. 

She passed away soon after. Wisdom dakini Yeshe Tsogyal concealed the complete Khandro Nyingtik as a terma (a hidden treasure), and centuries later, Pema Sal’s incarnation, the master Pema Ledreltsal (1291-1315), revealed the these teachings. His next rebirth was as the omniscient Longchen Rabjam, the supreme Dzogchen master, who later reincarnated as the great terton Pema Lingpa.

Further reading: Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.